National/Sooner Region 2004 Banquet summary

Wright, Ramey & Shouse Reel in Top ASCS Accolades Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (November 22, 2004) -- Nearly $150,000 in cash and contingencies was doled out Saturday night as the American Sprint Car Series held its season ending...

Wright, Ramey & Shouse Reel in Top ASCS Accolades

Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (November 22, 2004) -- Nearly $150,000 in cash and contingencies was doled out Saturday night as the American Sprint Car Series held its season ending awards banquet for both the National Tour and the Sooner Region at the Cherokee Casino & Resort in Tulsa, OK.

Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, reeled in the lion's share of the evening's awards, as he collected $20,000 plus contingencies for capturing his first O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers championship.

"This is special," Wright commented from the podium. "I'm getting to the age where I don't really know how many more times I'll be able to do this, so it definitely makes me appreciate it that much more. Hopefully we can do this at least another time or two."

"I have to thank Kerry at Southwest Express, along with Richwood Construction and Lanny Row at The Shop," Wright continued. "We switched to Wesmar engines early in the year and they were great, we never had a problem with them. And the Maxim chassis was great as always. Also, Scooby, who's been with me for a long time, did a great job as always, I couldn't do it without all his help."

Kevin Ramey of Ft. Worth, TX, and Oklahoma City's Andy Shouse split top honors in the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region portion as the duo were declared series co-champions.

The balance of the top eleven in ASCS National points and the top ten in Sooner Region points were honored as well.

Travis Rilat (Forney, TX), Zach Chappell (Talala, OK), Toby Brown (Carthage, MO), Darren Stewart (Bixby, OK), A.G. Rains (West Memphis, AR), Jimmy Taylor (Oklahoma City, OK), Garry Lee Maier (Cimarron, KS), Cody Branchcomb (Sapulpa, OK), Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX), and Natalie Sather (Fargo, ND) joined Wright as National tour honorees.

Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) and Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK) tied for third in Sooner Region points, with Foster Landon (Collinsville, OK) and Preston Peebles II (Lubbock, TX) tied for fifth. The balance of the top ten in Sooner Region points included J.P. Bailey (Collinsville, OK), Danny Jennings (Norman, OK), Barry McCord (Iowa Park, TX) and Brian Harvill (Irving, TX).

Wright, Rilat, Chappell, Brown and Taylor all received awards for Perfect Attendance on the National Tour, while Ramey, Shouse, Bruce, McClelland and Peebles recorded Perfect Attendance on the Sooner slate.

Wright also earned the Ronald Laney Hard Charger Award, while crew chief Ron "Scooby" Burkett picked up Brodix Lee Maier Crew Chief of the Year honors.

In addition to recording his second top-five finish in National points, Darren Stewart was also the recipient of the Horizon Award, annually awarded to a driver who displays promise of glory in future seasons with ASCS.

Last year's Horizon Award winner, Zach Chappell, announced that he will take on the ARCA Stock Car series for at least eleven races in 2005, most likely ending his five-year streak of perfect attendance, a mark shared with Toby Brown.

Finishing sixth in points, A.G. Rains also collected Brodix Rookie of the Year honors. Rains topped fellow rookie competitors Jimmy Taylor, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., and Natalie Sather for the award.

Taylor, the 2003 COMP Cams Newcomer of the Year, was awarded the Brodix Most Improved Driver award. Taylor also won the Butler Built Lowest Average Draw award, while Cody Branchcomb claimed the Butler Built Highest Average Draw award.

Tenth-place finisher Sam Hafertepe, Jr., was awarded the Sportsmanship Award, while eleventh-place finisher Natalie Sather received Hilborn Injectors Young Lion honors, annually awarded to a driver under 21 years of age for providing support to ASCS.

In addition to tying for third in Sooner Region points, Tony Bruce, Jr., collected an extra $1,000 as the COMP Cams Newcomer of the Year on the O'Reilly National Tour. Bruce is expected to vie for Brodix Rookie of the Year honors in 2005, with other rookie contenders expected to include Tim Montgomery of Fredericktown, MO, Eric Jobe of Kansas City, MO, and Lee Sowell of Horn Lake, MS.

The 2004 O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and Classic Trailers consisted of 33 events throughout nine different states, with 286 drivers competing in at least one event. The American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region slate consisted of 17 events, with 135 drivers taking part in at least one event.

The O'Reilly ASCS National Tour will expand to approximately 45 dates in 2005, with the season slated to get under way at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, on March 18-19.

More information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Preston Peebles , Cody Branchcomb , Travis Rilat , Danny Jennings , Kevin Ramey , J.P. Bailey , Andy Shouse , Sean McClelland